So my wife and I were getting our wills done the other day and we were talking about password sharing. Obviously there are some mechanics when someone dies around shutting down email accounts, moving business and financial accounts into different names and the like.
The one thing that I started to think about was my Stack Exchange account.
Is there a process by which someone can notify the community that a given user has died, can that community flag that user account accordingly, and perhaps even more importantly does it matter?
For older questions, the user's answer is likely to stay the same unless some new scientific information comes to hand, but certainly any active answers, against which comments are being received, would also have no updates applied against them.
While I can see that this could be seen as vacating the field so to speak, is it important for the community to know why this has happened, and how would it be flagged as such? To date, I've never seen an account with some form of deceased flag but I can see a case where this might be useful to a moderator when changes are being requested on a given question or answer and there is no further input from the OP, especially on older questions. It might trigger a different process for example if a user is not capable of responding, rather than merely inactive.
Of course, the follow up question is that if there isn't such a mechanism, should we consider one?